Tattoos and eczema don’t seem to go together naturally, but many people who live with eczema have got a great deal of pleasure and self-confidence from being able to change the appearance of their skin on purpose, when so much of their life has been dealing with skin they’ve had no control over.
But will eczema ruin a new tattoo?
What do eczema sufferers need to be aware of when getting a tattoo for the first time? Here are some important things to consider when thinking about getting a tattoo if you have eczema.
- Tattoo inks are deposited deep in the dermis, below the epidermis (the layer of skin affected by eczema), so generally they will not be damaged by itchiness.
- There’s a very slight possibility of allergic reaction to the dyes, even in the future, so make an informed decision that you’re happy with.
- If you’ve got eczema, you’re more likely to have sensitivity or inflammation when healing, so treat your skin extra carefully!
- Don’t get tattooed while you have an infection, or on top of open, raw, inflamed skin; wait until any flare-up passes.
- Discuss your tattoo with a trusted artist over several conversations! This isn’t the time for an impulsive decision.
- You’ll also need to let your artist know that there’s an uncertainty about timings if you have a flare-up when you’re scheduled to have work done.
- Consider where you will get your tattoo; is there somewhere on your body that is less prone to eczema flare-ups?
- Consider when you’ll get your tattoo done: are there triggers you can avoid in advance? Is your skin better in some seasons than others?
- Prepare in advance: give your body good food, take the best care possible of your skin.
- Treat aftercare seriously! Adequate rest, good nutrition and good care of your new tattoo is vital. (See our guide to healing tattoos here.)
- Only use eczema-friendly aftercare balms on your newly-tattooed skin; don’t use any product for the first time after you’ve been tattooed! Use a moisturiser or balm that you’ve already used on your eczema and which you know you don’t react to.